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Part of the beauty and frustration of the Occupy movement is that we don’t know what it will do next.
But, as the fateful year of 2011 draws to a close, we can at least try to get a grip on what it has done so far. ‘Archiving’ Occupy is complicated, despite and because of the millions of words and tens of thousands of hours of audio and video that have been devoted to the phenomenon and that have emerged from within it.
A while back, I wrote about something I called “economism”, in a spurt of self-parodic buzzwordising. The cornerstone of this was that people had simply stopped viewing the Irish budget as a socio-economic document, and viewed it instead as an accounting exercise; and that only someone bound by a sociopathic devotion to ledger-sheet politics could possibly find Ireland’s economic policy defensible.
Given the massive student demonstrations of last December in the UK, it is perhaps surprising that more coverage has not gone to the recent events in Colombia. In early October the Santos government sought to introduce a law (Ley 30) that would, among other thing, privatise the remaining public universities. In an immediate and powerful response, the students began to organise acts of public protest, culminating with a nationwide protest on 10 November. They combined with labour unions, their lecturers and secondary school children.
Our Taoiseach Endy Kenny told us on Sunday that the current economic crisis is not our fault, yet he insists on billing me and everyone else in this country for the stupid decisicions made by our financial and political elites. His hollow rhetoric insults our nation's intelligence. His words mean nothing to me. He also told me he cries everytime he sees Riverdance.
Enda Kenny’s address the other night was intended to confuse and demoralise. Maybe this is why his wooden delivery, with his head slightly cocked to one side, recalled a Thunderbird whose string had snapped. Even so, I think it’s worth thinking about what Kenny and his advisers meant when he said “this crisis is not your responsibility”.
On Saturday last, 3 December 2011, the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope brought central Dublin to life with one of the most imaginative and colourful demonstrations ever witnessed in the city. Thousands of people of all ages from some of the most disadvantaged communities in Dublin and elsewhere came together to protest against the impact of spending cuts.